Over the years I have been doing youth ministry I have heard of and experienced many different kinds of summer camping. The more popular ones seem to be:
- Going on a week-long summer camp. The purpose of this camp is mainly discipleship (although students are encouraged to bring their friends) and fellowship.
- Going on a mission trip. The purpose of this trip is to serve others and build community amongst the students going.
- Going on an outreach trip. Young Life does this so well with their summer camps. The purpose here is to bring non-christian students to camp so that they can hear and hopefully respond to the gospel by accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior
Of these 3, I have done the mission and outreach trips. I have never led or participated in a summer camp before. I have not done an outreach summer camp since I left Young Life in 2003 (although I have done weekend outreach trips since then). My primary trip over the summer since I have been at Cedar Run has been to do a mission trip. The reasons why I like doing a mission trip over the summer are because:
- I like challenging students to step out of their comfort zone and pushed in their faith.
- As I mentioned above, Young Life does such a great job at outreach camps that I would rather just send them to Young Life camp than try to duplicate what they do.
- With all the summer camps that students can do over the summer, I like to keep camp trips light. I am a firm believer in mission trips so I do not schedule a regular summer camp mainly out of default. I do not have a strong belief in or against it.
What about you? What is the camping you do and why do you do it? Post some comments so we can be encouraged and challenged.